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Re: 'not an artist' article

On 04-Jul-2000 Chris Purnell wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 03, 2000 at 07:26:37PM -0500, Steve Baker wrote:
>> Chris Purnell wrote:
>> > Or rather how do you turn your "gene" values into the required surface
>> > mesh.
>> Yep - that's the $64,000 question.
>> I spent some time today thinking about it - and I'm pretty sure it could
>> be done.
>> The snag is to come up with a set of genes with the right 'powers' over
>> the mesh to come up with credible critters - without limiting the resulting
>> shapes arbitarily.

were the problem specified correctly to the algorithm, no arbitrary limits
would be required. But making a lifeform is not a simple problem to define :)

> I've also spent some time thinking about it.  I think any thing limiting
> the results to human and anthropomorphic characters would help the time
> it takes to get a useful result and may also help programming it.
> I liked your idea about evolving the bones.  I think fixing the number of
> bones and their conections is the way to go.  And having the genes control
> the length of the bones.  I'm not sure about constraints about the relative
> lengths of the upper and lower parts of the limbs.

If you define the bones and their connection as a static thing, you limit the
power of the machine to generate soemthing unique, as well as requiring the
programmer (or modeller) to model a functional animated skeleton. That kinda
defeats the purpose imho :)

> This is where I get stuck.  Putting the flesh on the bones.

There are plenty of articles around for putting flesh onto a bone structure

>> It's tempting (for example) to think of 'symmetry' genes - but does that
>> overly-restrict or pre-judge the nature of the things you build?
> I was thinking of enforcing left-right symmetry so we only have to
> generate half a character.

one of my fish is not symmetrical... Maybe instead of enforcing an arbitrary
limit, simply introduce a symmetry component to a gene? I d'no if a symmetry
gene would be useful, since those few creatures in nature that are no entirely
symmetrical are still primarily symmetrical.

Has the genome project released any technical documentation? I remember hearing
that they had completed something, mebbe it was just the human DNA? Fruit flies
were figured out quite a while ago (14 genes iirc). Since they are examining
what we are trying to emulate, maybe we should look at their results and see
what they found the basic building blocks to be and how they find them
attached. I'm sure the most natural results would come if we could use nature
as a blueprint :) 

        -Erik <erik@smluc.org> [http://math.smsu.edu/~br0ke]

The opinions expressed by me are not necessarily opinions. In all
probability, they are random rambling, and to be ignored. Failure to ignore
may result in severe boredom or confusion. Shake well before opening. Keep

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